LAST YEAR FEDEX DAMAGED A 150 POUND TUBE RESEARCH PREAMP, IN A VERY WELL BUILT WOODEN CRATE "3 TIMES" BEFORE THEY GOT IT TO ME UNDAMAGED. THIS HAPPENED OVER A 6 MONTH PERIOD. LUCKILY I KNOW THE MAKER/OWNER AND WE STUCK THEM WITH OVER $7000 IN DAMAGES, BUT IT WAS NOT A FUN EXPERIENCE BECAUSE I WAS WITHOUT A PREAMP FOR ABOUT 7-8 MONTHS AND MADE A LITTLE MONEY TO BOOT> I THINK THEY SUCK AND I WILL NEVER USE THEM AGAIN AND YES THEY WERE DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH. GOOD LUCK!
Ekl sorry to hear about this problem. I've been using FedX Ground almost exclusively due to all the bad reports about UPS; no problems here over many shipmments. However a repair center that I recently spoke with via phone was dead set against any FedX shipments. Said that they damaged a component & then refused to pay the repairs, while UPS has been cooperative regarding any claims. Sounds like now there is no choice but to hand carry!
I play hockey with a guy who works for FedEx, interesting from an insiders viewpoint. Although you and I see no difference between overnight delivery of an envelope and shipping a box using their ground service, they operate as two seperate companies. I tried to get a quote to ship some Apogee speakers and their website was down; I called customer service and they told me they get their info from the website so I'd have to wait until the site was up and running again. I waited two days and gave up. According to my buddy If you can afford to use the cheapest Fed EX service I suspect you'll be satisfied with the condition of your shipment and reliable delivery, as opposed to Fed EX Ground. As an alternative suggestion, find a transportation broker in your area. I found one who got my Apogees to me by truck...the speakers were loaded in the truck (strapped to a a pallet)and got to me in four days. $140 for 2000 miles, shipment fully insured (the shipment was 55" x 24" x 33" and weighed 160lbs). The nice thing about this arrangement is once it's on the truck it stays there til it gets to you, as opposed to being transferred through sorting stations (the infamous three-foot drop from conveyor belt to conveyor belt) and various planes/trucks along the way. Jeff
FedEX ground damaged my DeCapo speakers and I had to send them back to Katli Audio. The animal that handled them dropped them at least 5 ft. in the damage a thon.
Fred, the owner is terrific and refunded my money quickly and without question. FEDEX is never getting my business and Katli will.
My experiences thus far has been that of no damed goods in dozens of audio shipments from Fed EX Express. I've had lot's of dammage claims however from UPS (in over 100 packages shipped) while I've only recently started shipping fed ex ground, I've never had a dammaged item. However, from what's being said previously here, sounds like FEDEX express might be a different animal, and safer overall. However, I have noticed that claims are more difficult with
FED EX, and they're more reluctant to pay it seems. On the other hand, with COD's, you get paid quicker with FED EX, and UPS takes their sweet time!
I must say though, my preference overall is UPS shipping hands down!..even though they've broken a bunch of my expensive stuff!! Why you ask? Simple..they do brake stuff quite frequently, but they are quick to pay the claims!! I've actually received over $7K in claims from UPS in the past year!!! So, no loses really...just a little time and agravation. Oh well. STill UPS for me
Keep away from FedEx ground (normal FedEx is good).
My shipper told me FedEx ground is handled by RPS, which he has NOT had good results with.
I've never had a problem with UPS, over 50 packages shipped to and from.
Fedex owns RPS, so don't let them pass it off as someone elses problem. They are cheaper than UPS, but I guess the same other than that.
I have used FedEx Ground and the buyer of my speakers reported they arrived in fine shape. I have also received lots of stuff from UPS and never had a problem with them either.
But, and this probably just says something about the individuals who work in my neighborhood, I have more trust in UPS. My UPS guy goes through my gate, up the stairs to leave things in front of my door where they can't be seen from the street. While I was out walking the other day I noticed a FedEx Ground package in a neighbor's driveway on the edge of the sidewalk - like a throwaway paper - even though his gate was open and his front door just a few feet away.
FedEx Ground is an acquisition, another company really. Not the same standards of service as FedEx.
I had simular problems with FEDEX on an audio equipment shipment. The boxes clearly marked FRAGILE arrived with major dents and tears in the boxes. They did about $220 worth of damage. There inspector took two weeks to even come and see the damage and then declared thatFEDEX was not responsible. Their reason was that the boxes were used once before and therefore were inadequate packaging. These were the manufacturer's packaging (heavy cardboard with dense foam inserts). Under theri theory you could never shiop anything back to the manufacturer without buying totally new boxes. Bottom line - they were arrogant, rude and totally non responsive to any damage claims. I strongly advise against using FEDEX for audio equipment shipments.
In the past year and a half FedEx has bought several carriers and made them thier own. Among them was RPS, a ground service - now FedEx Ground. They've repainted the trucks, but in my area little else has changed ... same drivers etc. I've seen packages beat to hell for no apparant reason and I've also seen packages look like they were courier carried. All in all I can't say that they're any worse than UPS. The comment above about the divisions operating as seperate business units is true ... but I gather that the units are moving towards a more centralized approach. My personal favorite and recent find is BAX Global. They offer air and expidited ground services. I ship large and fragile upholstery for our company, and it survives very well on BAX. Previously I had been forced to use Northwest Air Cargo, and provide my own transport to the involved airport terminals. The key is to let the carrier handle the product as few times as possible ...
The quality of the delivery usually depends on the quality of the delivery man/woman. I suggest you check with your neighbors, that is the most reliable sources.
I work for a company that ships about 1000 packages a day via Fed-Ex Ground (RPS), UPS, Airborne, DHL and several other carriers, and I have found that the ground services are very similar in the number of packages that are lost or damaged. You will find just as many people who hate UPS (www.ihateups.com) as you will who hate Fed-Ex. The safest way (albeit expensive) is to ship either Next Day or Second Day. There are very few mess-ups with the "rush" carriers.
I decided to try FedEx ground, because they were closer to me and cheaper. The first time I was shipping 3 packages, including a power amp and an electric piano. The buyer of the amp was real nervous about the shipment and insisted on insurance which I always do anyways. The counter person forgot to put the insurance on, and nobody knew how to fix it. So they wrote out a slip saying it was insured (I worried until it got there). The tracking # for the electric piano never showed up, and both me and the buyer were concerned when it didn't arrive by the expected delivery date. Another time, I shipped a very carefully packaged guitar from here in Buffalo to Texas. The buyer said there was a dent in the guitar when it arrived. We both contacted FedEx ground. They picked it up for inspection, sent it back to the Buffalo terminal, shipped it back to Texas, and then back to Buffalo again, where I finally received it. The buyer had sent a pic of the original damage, and it was far worse when it finally arrived back to me. They made no attempt to safely repackage the guitar, and it practically fell out of the bottom of the double box. I filed a claim which took several months to settle. I must say that since then, I gave FedEx ground another chance, and they've been better. One final comment: whenever I go to FedEx to ship ground, they genrally seem to get annoyed. They seem to like handling their little overnight packages rather than the larger ground shipments. Then again there's UPS...where should I start...
I use Greyhound. Yes you have to go to the bus station, but it's quick, can be shipped over the weekend and is cheap. And depending on the distance of travel, it usually only gets transferred a few times without the sorting stations...
I have also heard, from an AudiogoN dealer who seems to ship a lot of goods, that insuring a piece at FedEx for $5000 or more puts it into a 'special handling' category and it is therefore physically separated and/or treated better than the 'cheaper' goods.
I have had good luck with Fed Ex ground. They are significantly cheaper than UPS. I also think Fed Ex's tracking system on their website is superior. Try getting your packages delivered to your work. I have had damaged items with just about all type of shippers and none of them like to pay.
I believe FedEx service quality depends on how heavy the package is. If you are shipping something heavier than 80 pounds then I would try to avoid them because most FedEx delivery truck usually has one person manning the truck. Imagine if one guy tries to deliver a 150 lbs package without help (meaning you are not home to receive the package) then all he could do is to drop the package from the truck to the ground and wheel it to your front door. This is where the damage occurs, so think before you ship any thing with any body.
One problem, at least here in the East Bay (Northern CA), is that they don't have a terminal open to the public. So, if an item requires a signature, you HAVE to be around to sign for it within 3 tries.